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International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year that aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death.

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The silver badge, purple wristband and purple lanyard are symbols of awareness of overdose and its effects. Wearing these signifies the loss of someone cherished, or demonstrate support to those undergoing grief. It sends out a message that every person’s life is valuable and that stigmatising people who use drugs needs to stop.


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Hosting your own International Overdose Awareness Day event or activity, or attending one, is a powerful way to stand together to remember people who have lost their lives to overdose.

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We provide campaign materials to share within your community to help prevent overdose.


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Post your tribute to a loved one who has passed away from an overdose.


2020 Partners’ Report Released

Creating change in the face of adversity

The 2020 Partners’ Report tells the story of International Overdose Awareness Day in 2020.


Time to Remember. Time to Act.

Make a Difference in 2020

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that overdose death is preventable. Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose. They come from all walks of life.

Do you recognise the signs and symptoms of overdose? What is the impact of drug use and overdose on family, friends and those experiencing it? In these videos, we hear from people who have been affected by drug use and overdose.

“There wasn’t any white light. I didn’t make out Jesus or see my dead family members. It was just oblivion and it was very frightening.”

Remembering Lost Loved Ones

Ronda Wilson July 4 th 2019 I lost my 17 year old son Darrius Morsha Steward Jr .to a suspected overdose of what I Assume and have heard through Rumors to be from Xanax and Percocet laced with fentenal I have yet to receive the toxicology report which could take up to over Three months his death was ruled no foul play I’m trying to Use his face and story to help other kids and parents and friends Know or No! Has Become A driving Motivation for me my Son was My First Genuinely Feeling Of Love and Care I ever experienced I feel I was Cheated and Robbed July 4,2019 Please Don’t Understand unless It Happens To yours🅿️💯👑Rocboy MAC Darrius Steward Jr won’t Die in vain if I can Help one Young Person or Anyone I’m assistance in Know what they are consuming or opting to say No I feel I’m Keeping my Sons Memory Alive a Well🙏🏾 Posted 22/07/2019 Ronda Wilson Tribute Carol Anne My cousin Neil died 28/3/16 due to an overdose, you weren't just my cousin you were my best friend, and I miss and love you so much, I made a video for your birthday with so many happy memories in it, hurts so much to know to that I can't talk to you as we were always there for one and other. Everyone misses you so much esp your mum, brothers, nana and also your 2 kids. Everytime I hear your fave songs I can't stop crying but I listen to them and picture your smile, and the selfie we took at new year Siobhan printed it off for me, and a tiny one for my purse. Until we meet again your loving cousin Carol Anne xxxxxxxx❤️❤️❤️❤️Xxxxx Carol Anne Tribute Shell Jacob, my sweet, loving, caring baby brother. I pray that you get better and Get thru this. Break free from that demon. I miss you so much it hurts. I miss your goofy acts and funny voices. This drug has changed you, but hopefully not forever. I pray that you are safe and that God watches over you. Your kids need you to get better we need you to get better, you need you to get better. I miss you and even though I can’t tell you I can write it here how much I miss you so terribly. I see our pictures together and just want those days back. Sometimes I just lay in bed and cry wondering what made you just start doing that. I miss you baby brother. Caleb, I just found out about your passing. I remember our childhood friendship like it happened yesterday. How you always made me laugh, would bring me chocolates for no reason at all and we’re a great friend to me. We went over separate ways as we got older but I never forgot you, we picked up where we left off and again lost touch. I wish I could have been there for you to help you. I’m gonna miss you and I didn’t relize much I really cared about you until today. You told me how you felt about me years ago and I was to afraid to ruin our friendship, maybe things would have gone in a different direction for you. I could never tell anyone how I fell today, as I seen you were now married. I just morn you in silence my dear friend love always your friend. Posted 10/08/2019 Shell Tribute Kathy 3 years ago today you left me baby boy.  You were only 19 1/2. You left behind so many family and friends that love you. I wish I could hear your voice feel your hugs. You have touched so many lives.  I see things so differently since you left me.  If I can help one person so that their family doesn't go thru what we go thru everyday,  then that would make me happy.  I love you....more! Willie forever in our hearts. Kathy Tribute Jeanne Dear Adlai, I still believe that you are somewhere in an alternate reality. The pain ite intense. You've been gone over a year and I miss you more than ever. I look back through your childhood and through your growing up years. I look at all of the pain and traumas you had growing up. I had no idea what to do. I didn't know how to be a real mother. I blame myself. I realize that physiologically you had no choice. Why didn't I see it sooner? Why didn't I support you more when you went to Mexico? I wish I'd never heard of tough love. I wish I'd never listened to those people who kept telling me not to enable you. I would do anything. But I know you're not in pain. You are such my special person, my first born. So many similarities. I still haven't been able to have close moments with you since you've been gone. Please help me with this. I know I will see you again... I love you, Mom Jeanne Tribute Rita Always & forever remembering my awesome daughter Ericka Joeann Griffin. 25 yrs young, ended her struggle in 2012, with a speedball. She was wonderful & I will always be encouraged by her kind nature & love for all. ♡}¡{♡kk3f Rita Tribute Bobbi One week ago I lost my beautiful son to a heroin overdose. He was a smart, kind, and loving young man. He fought a long hard battle against this disease and I’m so proud of him for his effort. My life will never be same. I miss him so. Posted 03/11/2018 Bobbi Tribute Paula Jamie, I remember you from side by side 12 step meetings. You are a beautiful woman, and will always be remembered. I am glad I met you, if even one time. I am hanging out with your Mom in Coral Springs and we all try to help each other, while remembering you and our children we have lost. Hoping you have made all the connections. Paula Paula Tribute Janece Jonathan lost his life to the devil drug on 9.2.15. Life will never be the same. Unless you have lost a child you will never understand the void that is left. Janece Tribute Alexandra We've hit 2016...I somehow seemed to realize this as I was scouring the constant, yet, new articles commenting on the opioid epidemic ravishing our communities everyday. It seems as if time had stopped since my brother's death... It took me almost 8 whole months into 2016 to realize it's no longer the year my brother passed from an opioid overdose. Over the past year and a half plus, I would read each new article remembering another life taken far too soon from addiction; and I seemed to feel a connection, although I didn't know them at all, to those families and friends whose loved one's obituary ended in the year, "2015." Those families and friends felt similar grief, despair, and hopelessness Jonathan's loved ones were feeling in the wake of his passing. It took me a while, but I see it is no longer "our" year. And as that year changes, new grief settles in. Grief of days turning into months, and months into years, years without our loved ones. However, as that year changes, new responsibility also arises, responsibility to bring awareness to this epidemic and to join with loved ones from all over to remember the beautiful souls who have lost their battles with addiction in both Kentucky and our entire nation; responsibility to recognize and to fight this battle occurring in all homes and communities, a battle that refuses to discriminate. *In loving memory of Jonathan "Johnny" Squire... the brightest light in all of our lives. He left a legacy of love and will always be remembered by his joy of living and his never give up attitude. Alexandra Tribute Pamela RIP Felicia Bouchard Diane Young. Tyler Lowery Patricia Riley So many gone to Heroin..Always remembered Posted 10/01/2020 Pamela Tribute My Son My 27 year old son Clifford died February 16 2017 from Multiple Drug Intoxication. Clifford struggled with drugs for 10 years. I believe with all my heart that he wanted to get clean, he just couldn’t. Cliff played Little League Baseball, Boy Scouts, he loved Church , he was respectful thoughtful kind. drugs turned him into a ghost of his real self. I miss my son so much and my heart broke for him because I watched as he suffered and I could not help him. Prayers and compassion go to all family members and friends that have lost loved ones My Son Tribute Samantha Max, you were a great big brother. Now you are an angel in heaven looking over everyone that loves you. I know you tried. I love you so much. September 5, 1992 - September 6, 2016 Samantha Tribute Gayle

I will always remember and love my only child, Dakota (Cody) Martin Faso. 2-2-1993-7-1-2011.

Palm beach gardens, Florida
Gayle Tribute
Sonya Carey

Nicole Carey borned December 3rd 1990 passed June 10th 2016. Our life was not meant to be lived without you.

Sonya Carey Tribute
Linda We miss you Justin so had been just over a year now July 01/19 that you were taken from us by Fentanyl . You kept trying to get on your feet so many times & have that normal life you craved for. But in the end the struggle got the better of you and you relapsed. I wish there was not a poisoned drug supply out there because so many lives would still be with us. I did not view his death as an overdose because Fentanyl was present. He did not stand a chance.... Till we meet again darling which I am sure we will...xoxooxox Mum Linda Tribute Caroline Never Forgotten. Kieran Kay April 1, 1991-May 22, 2017 Until We Meet Again Love Mom 💜❤️ Posted 04/06/2019 Caroline Tribute Perri I miss you more and more each day. Marlow I love you. love Mama xxx Posted 29/08/2019 Perri Tribute Kathryn

Alexis Lenti much loved and adored daughter of Frank and Maureen. Mother of Brayden

A person never knows what strength they have until there is no other choice.

Worcester MA USA
Kathryn Tribute
Jennifer T. My mom evelyn left this earth due to a heroin overdose when i was 12 years old she was a very strong person with a great sense of humor i diddnt really understand what she was going through as i was just a child but i learned later as i dealt with my own addiction i miss her everyday I LOVE YOU MOM Posted 06/07/2018 Jennifer T. Tribute Carollyn Our son Roy lost his 4yr battle with opioid addiction at the age of 29. Our family will never be the same. His baby sister will marry without her big brother there, our hearts are forever pained. We miss him so much and have many regrets of words spoke out of fear and frustration. Oh but to have one day to tell you how much we love you Roy. Until I see your sweet face and hold you in my arms May God keep you . Mom Carollyn Tribute Tracy It has been two months April 1,2020, since my beautiful son was suddenly taken from his brothers and me. I had no warning or signs just ” mom; I am going to take a nap ” and save my dinner. I kept Aj’s favorite dinner breaded chicken cutlet. The next late morning, we checked on him only to find him unresponsive. The autonomy report revealed it was a mix of Oxy, Xanax, and 36 ng/mL of fentanyl, which was cut into his one pill. Aj did not plan on dying, and these illegal drug dealers need to be stopped. My heart ❤️ breaks every day. Kids need to know and adults that one pill can Kill!!! His beautiful girlfriend and grandparents had NO clue. My promise to Aj is to get justice; we are working with a detective and make a message out of this sudden and unexpected tragedy. 😢#my forever 24! I can say I loved and supported Aj always with boundaries. Pray for my family 🙏🙏🙏 . Tracy Tribute Christopher Catherman I will always love & miss you Amber Olsen! You were my best friend & my first love! I will always remember the good times we had & will never forget you! Till we meet again my love! Posted 06/06/2019 Christopher Catherman Tribute Jennifer On February 7th 2016 my brother Steve passed away from an overdose, leaving behind a son, his parents, 4 sisters, 3 brothers, and many nieces and nephews that were very close with him and loved him dearly.  I still cry for him every day and my broken heart literally hurts. Not a single day goes by that i dont think of him and miss him every single second. I do take some comfort in knowing he is at peace after years of battling addiction and depression . I pray he is flying high with the angels and that they know what they have up there and all I have now are memories some really great memories!!!!! Forever in my heart and always by my side, I love you Stephen F. Adams Sr. Jennifer Tribute Tonya I've lost way too many to mention everyone. The one that has hurt & effected me the most is the father of my child. His death changed my life forever. March 15,2004. RIP Tony Cline Tonya Tribute Camey For the love of my life and the man my daughter looked up to as her hero, Vaughn Senn, who we lost on 7/22/1998 to a drug overdose. It has been 20 years since you left us my love. Some days it feels like yesterday we were drinking coffee, laughing, making plans for our little family, and living a beautiful life together. And other days it feels like a life time ago and my heart and soul ache and hurt like no other pain I have ever felt. But sometimes I get lucky...time allows me a precious gift. Time graciously stands still and you are here with me. It lasts no more than a second and then you are gone again. Ah but for that is just us and everything is right and ok and beautiful. I feel the overwhelming warmth and security of your embrace and with it, peace, serenity and so much love. I miss you with all my heart and soul my love...I always will, no matter what. It makes me incredibly sad that our time together was cut so short. I know you didn't want or mean to leave us so soon. I so wish I would've sang for you more. To this day, I still wonder what could have been...I don't think that question will ever leave me. However, I wouldn't trade our time together for anything in the world. The gift you gave us can never be replaced. You gave us you and all the wonderful things that came with being you. I thank the heavens everyday that the gods and goddesses brought us together. And I thank you, for loving us and being the most wonderful partner and father we could ever ask for. I love you and miss you Vaughn...always. Stay with me...let's just breathe.
Posted 31/08/2018
Camey Tribute
sherry mclaughlin this is for my big sister and brother, whom both died from overdosing. Remember you did not die in vain. I love and miss you everyday. until we meet again, love you both sherry mclaughlin Tribute Grandma Cindy To James, my grandson, who was like another son to me and died of an accidental heroin overdose at age 22 (born July 22, 1989, died July 12, 2013) after a 4-year battle.  Our family did not know the extent of his addiction, but realized after two stints in rehab that the devil was not going to let go of him.  James, we are grateful to God that your struggle ended and we hope you are at peace and we see you again in heaven.  You were not a bad person or a weak person, just fell under the spell of this horrendous drug.  We love you forever and ever and miss you every day.  Rest in peace, James Grandma Cindy Tribute Tiffany

Franky Couture- 6/23/87 - 3/8/16
We all LOVE YOU FRANKLIN! Your truly missed & never forgotten! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Tiffany Tribute
Freida In loving memory of my son Micheal Neil Hoyle who lost his life to an addiction on Valentine's Day 2016.  My life and many others are forever changed.  We will always remember.  Love, hope and healing to us all.  Know Hope.  Just For Today. Michael Neil Hoyle 9/16/91 - 2/14/16 Freida Tribute Audrey D. My son, Gregory D., died of an accidental drug overdose on October 9th, 2017. He was 27 years old. I adored my son and find it extremely hard to live without him. He had overdosed four times before (that I know of), two of which I found him in the throws of, and was able to rush him to the hospital in time. The last time, on October 9th, I did not get home in time to save him. He fought his addiction for years. He was the smartest, funniest and most loving person you could ever have the pleasure to know. Over one thousand people attended his wake - almost all were his friends, as we have only a tiny family. THAT, seeing his friends lined up for blocks and blocks waiting to come into the funeral home, was a testament to his unique spirit. The funeral home, seeing the people lined up, opened the service an hour early and stayed open an extra hour so that everyone could come in to pay their respects. He was so deeply loved, especially by me, and will forever be missed. My heart aches for him, my boy, my Greggie. Rockville Centre, Nassau County New York, USA Audrey D. Tribute Chelsea There are no words to describe what your loss means to me. I am so grateful that I was able to be in your life. I know God had a greater plan for you. Not a day goes by that your not on my mind. I just want you to know how much I truly cared for you. Forever in my heart <3 Chelsea Tribute Brenda

My darling daughter Nicole Louise. Passed away 5 weeks before your 19th birthday. It has been 25 hard years since you passed awsy. There is not a single day that passes that i dont think about you. Still missing you like crazy.
Eternal love, mum xx

Melbourne Australia
Brenda Tribute
Peggy It's been a long time, hopelessly broken, dead at 27. Loved, missed. I hope you found peace. Not a day goes by, that I don't think of you and remember the days we had together in the light. Too beautiful for this world. Until we meet again, rest in peace, sweet man. Peggy Tribute Felipe Agado I would like to commemorate my son Daniel Agado, who passed away of a prescription drug overdose last Dec 14th 2013. Missing him dearly today.....AZ Felipe Agado Tribute Ashley My boyfriend Jason died February 20, 2015. He'd be 30 this coming August. He is missed dearly, he was such a special man. Ashley Tribute Brenda My son Michael was in rehab 2 times and also on suboxne. He came home Nov 26, 2016 from his last rehab stay in California! I told my other son that I thought his brother had finally beat this demon!.! He died the next day 1/11/16 of heroin fetanal overdose!! Brenda Tribute Candice Algeo Sweet Baby Girl, with that, Colgate smile! Your missed every second of everyday! Posted 02/11/2019 Candice Algeo Tribute Kimberle To Zachary: My first born, sometimes I still can't believe you're no longer on this planet. I lost you on 06.28.16 at the age of 25, 4 mths after your birthday. Your sisters, brother and stepfather and I miss you terribly. We miss your energy, your positiveness, and your kindness. I love you my sweet baby. Kimberle Tribute Joshua Never did I think I would become a widow at the age of 43. My amazing husband Joshua, died from ONE & A HALF laced fentanyl pill on October 23rd, 2019. I am certain that if he had known those pills were laced he would still be here today. He was such a bright light in a dark world. He was extremely intelligent & was absolutely brilliant & creative at his job. He was extremely well liked & he was as loyal as they come. He was my forever soulmate & his overdose killed part of me as well. More people need to see that it’s just not our deceased loved one it effects, it effects every single person who loves & cares about them. It is great to try & find yourself a good grief support group, mainly one that specifies the loss of our loved one through overdose. May god bless each & everyone of you as you walk down your unique paths of grief. Now you have an angel to help guide you through the day! Joshua Tribute Emma To my uncle Pete, I am sad so very sad that you died alone, so young, your future taken from you. I am sad, so very sad that my cousin lost his dad. I am sad so very sad that my nan grieved in silence. I am sad so very sad that your sisters, brother and parents lost your future too. Your niece, Emma Emma Tribute Rosemary This is for my only child , my son Johnny Mac Baum. Herion took his life 3 years ago. He was only 27. Mommy misses you so much son. U we're the best. I pray the good Lord above does away with all the garbage dealer's that are out there. Something has to give. PLEASE stop people before death becomes you and or your families.God Bless us all Rosemary Tribute Marj My daughter Liz died in April 2015 to an overdose. The world lost a loving and caring creative soul and my heart is forever broken. Posted 10/06/2019 Marj Tribute Kim To My Son, Nicky not a day goes by that we don't mention your name or tell stories about you. You are loved so very much and with each passing day we miss you more and more. To us this still feels like a nightmare and we try to wake up because we are praying it really is a nightmare. But once we are up we know it was just a dream. We are not ashamed of how you died at all. I am so proud of the son you turned out to be, the brother you turned out to be to your sister. And the husband you turned out to be and I know we would have been proud of the father you would have become. The sad part is this little man will never know his daddy at all. He will never see your face, hear your voice or hear you tell him you love him. All he will have is the memories we'll tell to him about you. And for this reason I am so sad you have a smile son that would light up a room. That light is no longer with us. All we have our shattered hearts and an empty chair with your name on it. we miss you son and love you very much. Rest easy Nick the demon is gone. Love Mom, your two sisters Paula and Brooklyn. Your wife Amanda and your son little man Baby Richie Kim Tribute Carolina R. Jacob B., 29 I hope that you’re comfortable in the quiet lasting grace. I love you forever.
Posted 30/06/2018
Carolina R. Tribute
Kathy Pierce Joshua Michael Weis you are missed every day of my life. I know your in the arms of Jesus and I look so forward to the day I see you again. I love you son
Posted 30/08/2018
Kathy Pierce Tribute
Melinda Fowler

I lost my father Jeff Fowler to a heroin overdose on Jan.20th 2015 he is very sadly missed

Melinda Fowler Tribute
Steven In loving memory of my friend Eric Aul, (07/26/85-12/18/12) who tried so valiantly to conquer his demons. R.I.P. You will live forever in my heart and although your death causes me immense pain, my fond memories of you bring me great joy. See you at the crossroads! Steven Tribute Angela Gabriel Alexander 5/12/94- 4/7/2013 Gabriel - you were taken from this world too soon! You were the most amazing son and friend. You loved people no matter what their circumstance, you taught me to love that way too. I will be forever grateful to God that he blessed me with 18 years with you. You will be forever in my heart, I love you more than anything. Rest in Paradise with Jesus my beautiful loving son. Mom Angela Tribute Bill My beautiful daughter lost her battle with Addiction and died yesterday morning from an overdose of Heroin at 32 years young.... I'm not mad, just very very sad a part of me also died yesterday.. I know the beautiful person you really were when you were sober and I know you didn't want to be that way, I feel helpless that you felt so alone and without hope... I will always love you and I'm just sorry I couldn't do enough to help you.....Your life did have purpose and you did mean something to a lot of people and now we're left with a hole in our hearts because we lost our beautiful Leighann...Just know that the devil is on this earth and his name is Heroin...It's ok my angel....daddy will see you again. RIP baby girl Leighann Holton 9/27/82 - 10/29/14 Bill Tribute


Wearing a badge, wristband or lanyard can signify the loss of someone cherished and sends out a message that overdose death is preventable.



Penington Institute is collecting your information on this subscription page for the primary purpose of staying connected with you and keeping you aware of activities of interest to you about International Overdose Awareness Day. For this purpose Penington Institute may securely provide your contact details to its service providers including MailChimp and WordPress.

Post a Tribute

Remembering those who have died – or been injured – because of overdose is an important part of International Overdose Awareness Day. If you would like to commemorate somebody, please add tributes here. Tributes will be posted on this website as soon as they are approved.


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Penington Institute is collecting your information on this page for the primary purpose of staying connected with you and keeping you aware of activities of interest to you about International Overdose Awareness Day. For this purpose Penington Institute may securely provide your contact details to its service providers including MailChimp and WordPress.

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